If you have ever looked at our website, in the gallery section I have a little quote from an evangelical preacher that reads. “Testimonials work great. Many Christians come to faith not by good works, but because they have personal testimonies about Jesus Christ.” But do we get a chance to testify?
And that is all that is in the gallery, nothing more and nothing less.
So this morning, I am writing in concern with our church today, the overall church, and find it very disturbing that few of us want to hear personal testimonies. Where it seems that its a thing of the past as if God is no longer at work in our lives.
I hear of good works, and testimonies of what we do in life. I work at the food bank, I drop in on my neighbour. I attend the guild, I enjoy the choir, I love singing, and praise, I love a laugh. I love to enjoy myself. That’s what life is all about. I don’t want to take life to seriously. Live is meant to be lived. I believe in life before death. All that eternal stuff its depressing. All that Jesus stuff I don’t want to hear about, heaven can wait.
Do you know something there are some beautiful personal testimonies to be found in this world, that testify to God in our lives.
Testimonies that if we read them very carefully are quite inspiring. Personal testimonies that testify how Christ came into so many lives and changed them.
Men and women on the brink of depression, and anxiety, people willing to throw their lives away. Many recorded in the bible, many recorded in the New Testament, St Paul for one.
I have met some, but very few, I have met the passive church goer, Bible Tom, Mary blessing, Sunday school Sue who is out to prove he or she has been called by God. The bible tells us so!
But I have only ever met a few, the others, only in those I have read about. Were they often come under the heading of inspiring stories and Christian testimonies?
The Preacher St Paul
Who can argue was not the most effective preacher in the World, but holds one of the most inspiring Christian testimonies of all time.
The Prince of Preachers, Charles Haden Spurgeon
There are few arguments that this man, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, was one of the greatest preachers who lived outside of the Bible where even today he is called the Prince of Preachers.
He tirelessly proclaimed the gospel even though he suffered greatly from depression and physical ailments which neither slowed him down nor stopped him from giving his messages. He was clearly one of the greatest of all time.
Martin Luther, the Reformer
Most people only think of him as the great Reformer or having begun the Great Reformation. He had this to his credit he was also an astoundingly great Biblical expositor. While imprisoned, he translated the Bible into German.
The Tireless John Wesley
Whatever this man had, he gave every ounce of his fiber to it. Under his direction, the Methodist church, the real founder of it, made the gospel a social one where Christians were expected to be salt and light and getting the salt out of the shaker and the light out from under a bushel, being the chief advocate for abolition, fighting slavery when it was not popular to do so. This great man of God preached over 40,000 sermons, gave away more than 30,000 pounds (today, that is around 100 thousand dollars), and rode over a quarter of a million miles on horseback. He once bemoaned about growing old and moaned and groaned about having to sleep, and having slept too long.
Jonathan Edwards, Scholar, Author and Preacher
I studied Jonathan Edwards for a long time I couldn’t even tie his shoe laces. Jonathan Edwards is believed by many scholars, both secular and Christian, to be the greatest intellect and philosopher that America has ever produced. Where his sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God made people weep and repent by the dozens and may be the single, greatest sermon ever preached from any pulpit.
But I guess you have never heard of him.
John Wycliffe, Philosopher, Theologian, and Preacher
Do you know something that if it were not for the efforts of this man you would never have had your bibles.
John Wycliffe was one of the first proponents to make the Bible available to the common man and woman. He focused on Bible-centered reform knowing that most of the public heard sermons in either Latin or not at all. He wanted them to be able to read a Bible in their own language so he translated the Bible himself so that they all could read our bibles.
William Carey (1761-1834)
When he received his calling he was a young man, A self-taught English cobbler who set out to evangelize the people of India. A Baptist. Where his church, the one he preached is home to my Closest of friend at the moment.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
Dr. King’s birth name was Michael Luther King where he later changed his name to Martin.
He followed his grandfather and father as pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
His personal testimony was his life.
Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899)
D.L. Moody the shoe shine boy, was a visionary and his success came because of his ability to choose the right people to put into leadership. His personal testimony many of us have never read, how he laboured and struggled through life at the beginning of his ministry until one day labouring over his anxiety he accepted Jesus as Lord and from that time on devoted his life to serving the Lord.
Evangelist Lester Roloff (1914-1982)
Brother Roloff was saved when he was fourteen years old. He paid his own way through Baylor University with four gallons of milk per day from his beloved jersey cow “Marie”. He became the Pastor of People’s Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, Texas in 1969 where he began his outreach to troubled teens and adults.
And so today I often wonder if we really do want to hear such inspiring things. Of men and women such as these coming to faith, telling their own inspiring stories, inspiring others to do likewise and know for certain there is a God and that God has not abandoned us. That he is still working in our lives even today.
Calling you and I to preach the good news. Tell the story of Jesus Christ, that Jesus Christ is still alive, still works, and still calls men and women to faith by entering their lives.
Revelation 3:20 New King James Version
20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.